“Annie Get Your Gun” with lyrics and music written by Irving Berlin will be presented at the Lakeside Theater at 7 PM on July 5th-8th. The story is a fictionalized version of the life of Annie Oakley, a sharp-shooter who starred in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and her romance with sharp-shooter Frank Butler.
When the traveling Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show visits Cincinnati, Ohio (“Colonel Buffalo Bill”§), Frank Butler, the show’s handsome, womanizing star (“I’m a Bad, Bad, Man”§), challenges anyone in town to a shooting match. Foster Wilson, a local hotel owner, doesn’t appreciate the Wild West Show taking over his hotel, so Frank gives him a side bet of one hundred dollars on the match. Annie Oakley enters and shoots a bird off Dolly Tate’s hat, and then explains her simple backwoods ways to Wilson with the help of her siblings (“Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly”). When Wilson learns she’s a brilliant shot, he enters her in the shooting match against Frank Butler.
While Annie waits for the match to start, she meets Frank Butler and falls instantly in love with him, not knowing he will be her opponent. When she asks Frank if he likes her, Frank explains that the girl he wants will “wear satin… and smell of cologne” (“The Girl That I Marry”). The rough and naive Annie comically laments that “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun”. At the shooting match, Annie finds out that Frank is the “big swollen-headed stiff” from the Wild West Show. She wins the contest, and Buffalo Bill and Charlie Davenport, the show’s manager, invite Annie to join the Wild West Show. Annie agrees because she loves Frank even though she has no idea what “show business” is. Frank, Charlie, Buffalo Bill, and everyone explain that “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
Over the course of working together, Frank becomes enamored of the plain-spoken, honest, tomboyish Annie and, as they travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota on a train, he explains to her what “love” is (“They Say It’s Wonderful”). Buffalo Bill and Charlie discover that the rival show, Pawnee Bill’s Far East Show, will be playing in Saint Paul, Minnesota while the Wild West Show plays in nearby Minneapolis. They ask Annie to do a special shooting trick to draw Pawnee Bill’s business away. Annie agrees because the trick will surprise Frank. She sings her siblings to sleep with the “Moonshine Lullaby.”
Community theater at its best. Fantastic music and surprises will fill each performance! Get your tickets early (at the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce, 6 Park St); these productions often sell out!